Plug Power Slumps as Sales Fall Short of Estimates

Plug Power Inc., a maker of fuel-cell systems for forklifts, dropped the most since March after reporting third-quarter revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates.

While sales quadrupled to $19.9 million from $4.6 million a year ago, it was less than the $24.4 million average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company today reported $25.6 million in orders from customers including Mercedes-Benz AG and BMW. Chief Executive Officer Andy Marsh said today that the Latham, New York-based company will exceed its goal of $150 million in orders this year.

“To get to that $150 million in orders they need another $30 million or $40 million in new bookings,” Jeffrey Osborne, an analyst at Cowen & Co. in New York who has the equivalent of a buy rating on the stock, said in an interview. “We’d like to see their success with BMW and Mercedes lead to new business in Europe.”

Plug fell 17 percent to $4.24 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day drop since March 26.

Plug’s quarterly net loss shrank to $9.35 million, or 6 cents a share, from $15.9 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier, it said in a statement. Excluding one-time items, Plug’s loss was 1 cent more than estimates.

“We had some implementation issues,” Marsh said today on a conference call. “We have worked out many of those issues.”

The company makes equipment that uses hydrogen to power systems, replacing batteries in forklifts for warehouses. It is expanding into stationary fuel cells for back-up power and for off-grid purposes such as telecommunication towers.

In North America, Plug Power shipped 857 of its GenDrive units for forklifts during the third quarter, up from 155 a year earlier.

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